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Changes to border processing levies

11.39am 28 September 2021

New border processing levy rates from 1 December 2021 are intended to fully recover the cost of Customs’ and MPI’s border processing services over the next levy period, and technical changes will improve the management of the levies.

Border processing services keep New Zealand safe from biosecurity threats and other risks such as prohibited goods and protecting against COVID-19 as New Zealanders reconnect with the world.

Charging arriving and departing travellers for the costs of the activities that Customs and MPI carry out to manage the risks posed by their travel is fair way to pay for these border processing services. Border processing levies are only a very small part of the cost of travel.

Customs and MPI process travellers differently than before COVID-19, and incur additional costs such as processing green zone (quarantine-free travel) travellers separately from red zone travellers, and additional border checks relating to COVID-19. Costs per traveller are higher due to these additional processes and because fixed costs are funded by fewer travellers than before COVID-19.

The decisions to set new levy rates followed public consultation in June 2021 on a range of possible options for recovering the costs of border processing services.

Border processing levies will increase from $17.49 to $38.03 per non-cruise traveller, and from $18.31 to $26.61 per cruise traveller (excluding GST). This table shows the current border processing levy rates, and the rates from 1 December 2021.

  Until 30 November 2021
($ excl. GST)
From 1 December 2021
($. excl GST)

Non-cruise rates

  • Arrival - Customs
  • Arrival - MPI
  • Departure - Customs





Total - Non-cruise rates 17.49


Cruise rates

  • Arrival - Customs
  • Arrival - MPI
  • Departure - Customs
Total - Cruise rates 18.31 26.61

Border processing levies are collected through airline and cruise tickets. Airlines will have sold tickets for after 1 December 2021 that include current levy rates. The Government has agreed to pay airlines the difference between the current and new levy rates, for travel by levied travellers taken between 1 December 2021 and 28 March 2022 where the ticket was purchased and fully paid before 29 September 2021.

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